"Verdi prati, selve amene....... Green meadows, calming woods,The photos in the clip are, alas, not from Alcina's garden (nor from the Villa d'este, the water garden that inspired Ariosto to write the epic poem, Orlando Furioso, from which the story of Ruggiero and Alcina branched out of, for that matter). They are from the various places on the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego, California.
perderete la belta............... your beauty is fading.
Vaghi fior, correnti rivi......... Blooming flowers, rippling brooks,
la vaghezza, la bellezza....... your charms and beauty
presto in voi si cangera....... will soon be transformed.
E cangiato il vago ogetto...... and when the enchanted vision
all' orror del primo aspetto...... has returned to original horror,
tutto in voi ritornera.............. I'll have regained myself."
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Even the prettiest garden must fade....
In Georg Friedrich Händel's Alcina, Ruggiero (Roger) the crusading knight had been held captive by the love enchantment of the sorceress Alcina on her magical island until his fiancee, Bradamante, and her magical adviser, Melisso, arrived to knock some sense of reality back into him. As Ruggiero slowly regains his true perspectives, the true horror of Alcina's island becomes perceptible to him (what he used to see as a green enchanted garden is, in reality, a barren place full terrible remains of Alcina's past lovers).